Rather than writing a review of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY (that’s coming tomorrow), I decided to take a look at the bigger picture. Were the record sign-ups right after the premiere really “big news” or simply the inevitable result of hundreds of millions of dollars in production and advertising/marketing budgets? Also, what does it tell us that CBS remains so reluctant to provide hard numbers about how many people actually subscribed last night?
As I said in yesterday’s blog, my goal here is NOT to try to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory for CBS. I’m actually very happy that Star Trek: Discovery did so well in both ratings and sign-ups. This means that the worst-case scenario—CBS simply assumes that Star Trek has run its course and is no longer a viable sci-fi franchise—has been avoided. Nearly 10 million people watched the free network TV premiere on Sunday night. So anyone accusing me of sour grapes is wrong. Wet blanket, yes. Sour grapes, no.
My desire, to be honest, is to simply take a wider look at this new series…beyond just Sunday night or this one week. Now that the horse is fast out of the starting gate, what are the challenges facing Star Trek: Discovery in terms of keeping and growing its viewership? Obviously, CBS is in a unique situation due to its decision to require viewers to pay to see episodes of the new series. How does that affect their goal of attracting and keeping viewers?